'No indication' VW used EU loans to cheat
By Peter Teffer
The European Investment Bank (EIB) found no indication that its loans to German carmaker Volkswagen have been used to fund development of diesel cars involved in the emissions cheating scandal.
“We have not found any indication that our loans might have been used for fraudulent purposes,” said EIB chief Werner Hoyer at a press conference on Tuesday (24 January).
Dear EUobserver reader
Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.
Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.
- Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
- All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
- EUobserver archives
EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.
♡ We value your support.
If you already have an account click here to login.
“As far as we know – and we have investigated very, very thoroughly – our loans to Volkswagen have not been abused.”
After the Volkswagen Group admitted cheating on emissions tests in September 2015, the EIB began an investigation into whether any of its loans to VW had been used to fund the cheating software.
At a press conference in January 2016, Hoyer said he could not exclude the possibility of a link between a €400 million EIB loan to Volkswagen signed in 2009 and the emissions fraud.
On Tuesday, Hoyer repeated the bank was “disappointed” by Volkswagen's actions, considering the many VW projects EIB funded.
Also, because of the EIB's “commitment” to tackling climate change, “you want to be associated with partners who stick to their promises”.
Hoyer noted that there were no loans to VW “in the pipeline”, and that he did not expect any to be negotiated “in the foreseeable future”.
Last July, the EIB president said that lending may become more expensive for the firm.
He did not repeat that on Tuesday, although he did confirm that lending criteria “will be stricter”.
“Since we have learned, we are going to be more open-eyed than ever,” said Hoyer.
Car companies wanting a loan from the EU bank, can expect further scrutiny.
“We have learned the hard way," he said. "We are looking at all our corporate partners. One would have to be naive not to see that beyond Volkswagen other companies might be affected as well, so we are approaching this with open eyes.”